'The Rankin Files' is a selection of highlights from the literary archive of Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin.
The exhibition will run from 14 October 2022 until 29 April 2023.
Ian Rankin is Scotland's best known contemporary crime writer.
His latest novel, 'A Heart Full of Headstones', is his 32nd novel, and his 24th to feature Detective Inspector John Rebus. The Rebus series has established Rankin at the forefront of international crime writing.
Rankin's work has been translated into 35 languages, with sales in the tens of millions.
About the Rankin archive
In early 2019, Ian Rankin donated his archive to the National Library of Scotland. He called the archive "a pretty complete author's life, late-20th century-style".
Stretching back to Ian's schooldays in Fife in the 1970s, it includes:
- the manuscripts to all his works up to 2018,
- handwritten notes and notebooks,
- song lyrics,
- an opera libretto,
- radio and television scripts,
- and numerous awards.
The archive gives us an insight into Rankin's innermost thoughts. It illuminates his influences and interests, revealing the determination that led to worldwide critical and commercial success.
containing his archive.
These are some of the highlights on display.
'Empty Capital', the first manuscript draft of what became 'Black and Blue'. Rankin's breakthrough came in 1997 with the publication of 'Black and Blue'. It features real-life 1960s Glasgow serial-killer Bible John, and a copycat, Johnny Bible.
The novel won the 1997 Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger award. It catapulted Rankin to the forefront of UK and international crime fiction.
Ian Rankin's PhD thesis proposal on Muriel Spark. From 1983 to 1986, Rankin studied towards a PhD on Muriel Spark. He didn't complete his thesis but he did write three novels – 'Summer Rites', 'The Flood', and 'Knots and Crosses' – during this time.
The only copy of a self-printed poetry collection. Rankin also created his own short collection of poetry, 'Incidental Music'. It was written and designed while he was an undergraduate student.
A note on the back cover states "My poems – lovingly published in an edition of one (by me)".
'Ian's ... Big Book of Ideas, so no peeking', 1990-92. This notebook was used by Rankin for ideas and thoughts on his writing process. It includes several short story and episode ideas for the television series Rebus.
Manuscript of 'Summer Rites', 'A novel by Ian J Rankin', 1983. Rankin completed his first novel, 'Summer Rites', in 1983 while working on his postgraduate studies.
Described by Rankin as "a black comedy set in a hotel in the Scottish Highlands", the novel remains unpublished. According to Miranda, his wife, it is his best book.